Expertise without Deliberate Practice? The Case of Simultaneous Interpreters
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Deliberate practice (Ericsson 2007) is a type of focused, goal-oriented practice that is part of the process of developing expertise. A less explored area in interpreting research, deliberate practice is a construct that is not easily investigated using an experimental research design. This article reports on in-depth interviews with three interpreters. By exploring their background, training, views on interpreting, and perceptions of core areas of deliberate practice (such as practice, setting clear goals and being open to feedback), an impression of their practice habits emerges. The article concludes that deliberate practice as defined by Ericsson is not consciously employed by these interpreters. Some of the implications of these findings for the application of expertise theory in interpreting are outlined in the discussion.